Comment on the NABERS Energy for Offices Scheme in the UK
Jamie Cameron, Director of Digital Solutions at Johnson Controls UK & Ireland, comments on the recent launch from BRE of the NABERS UK scheme for measuring the energy efficiency of offices.
The launch last week of the NABERS UK scheme which is designed to measure the energy efficiency of UK offices will revolutionise current approaches to workspaces.
Sustainability and building managers have long needed a solution to bridge the performance gap between the design and in-use energy performance of offices. Now, they can measure, verify and communicate the energy consumption of their buildings during their lifecycle, rather than solely during the design phase, through the NABERS Energy rating. For the first time, this will accurately demonstrate whether offices are on a net zero carbon trajectory, providing investors with confidence that sustainability targets and climate ambitions will be met – and bringing much greater transparency to the industry.
The scheme has proven its worth, with consumption falling by 33% within 10 years when deployed in Australia. The UK rollout comes at a time when energy efficiency is under the spotlight, with a government consultation on energy performance disclosure for commercial buildings expected this year. As such, NABERS UK is a welcome step towards a more sustainable future. The benefits are plain to see, and this policy will put the onus on building and sustainability managers to spring to action and make our offices more sustainable. While no solid timeline has been laid out, we call on businesses of all sizes to sign up by 2025.
It might seem a daunting step for building and sustainability managers, but it’s not up to them alone to tackle the problem and meet targets. All of your energy use; whether it is thermal, water, electrical, storage or carbon, can be tracked, analysed and managed. There are technologies on the market that enable you to proactively manage energy consumption with the touch of a screen.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will have a big role to play in this. Technologies like OpenBlue allow you to forecast energy usage in advance. Choosing a cloud-based platform, which is agnostic to any infrastructure, building automation system or service provider, allows you to collect, analyse and visualise your building data. This way, you aren’t just getting insights, but putting them into action. This gives building managers new opportunities to improve a building’s performance, and pinpoints inefficiencies to reduce energy costs. It can also identify and diagnose equipment problems and, most importantly, take corrective action using insights from your equipment, systems and spaces. Technologies like this will be critical for those adopting the NABERS Energy Rating.